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Tuesday, 20 February 2024 10:19

The Commercial Cost of Accidental Managers

By now, you will know that an accidental manager is someone promoted to a management position without necessarily having good leadership skills. Employees find themselves promoted into a management role more for their technical strength in their junior position rather than their people management abilities. More importantly, they are now people managers who do not have the required skill set nor have received training to develop their people management skills. The Chartered Management Institute believe that some 2.4 million of 3.4 million managers are ‘accidental managers’. This means that 70% of managers are then let loose on the workforce.

Of course, accidental managers can harm productivity, employee engagement and create a toxic workplace. However, what is the true financial cost of having accidental managers in the workplace?

Employee Retention Costs
When employees feel inadequately supported or led, they are more likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. Ineffective leadership creates dissatisfaction amongst employees. Accidental managers may struggle to provide the essentials of leadership i.e. coaching, direction and effective communication resulting in disengagement and attrition. For the business, replacing an employee can cost between six to nine months of their salary. According to PwC, 1 in 5 employees are job searching. Take a team of 10. By not training accidental managers, a business risks wasting two employee’s salary for six months trying to replace them.

The Cost of Communication
Accidental managers often lack the communication skills necessary to convey expectations, provide feedback and resolve conflict effectively. As a result, miscommunication and misunderstanding become common leading to decreased productivity and morale. According to a Linkedin report, UK companies spend 17 hours per week clarifying communication. That means that half the working week is wasted on trying to communicate effectively rather than being spent on business output. Projects are slow, deadlines are missed, and frustration increases due to accidental managers not having the confidence to communicate.

Productivity Costs Engagement
Accidental managers create uncertainty and inefficiency which impacts on the team achieving their goals. Without clear direction and support, employees are unsure of their roles, how to prioritise and the business vision. Gallup states that organisations with highly engaged employees are 17% more productive. Ultimately, that would create a 17% increase on the company’s bottom line at the end of the year. Accidental managers need to receive training on increasing their confident to inspire and motivate the team.

The Lack of Leadership Cost
Leadership goes beyond simply overseeing tasks. It entails inspiring, motivating and empowering teams to achieve success. Accidental managers, lacking in essential leadership skills, may struggle to direct, coach and support the team. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), poor leadership costs UK businesses £84 billion annually. This is manifested in employee attrition, low customer satisfaction and a lack of innovation.

The Cost of Mental Health
Accidental managers lacking fundamental leadership skills can create a toxic work environment characterised by stress, anxiety and low morale amongst the team. Employees may feel undervalued and unsupported leading to increased unexplained absenteeism, burnout and a mentally unhealthy team. According to Mind, poor mental health can cost UK businesses £1,300 per employee per year. The combination of sickness absence, low productivity and low morale manifests into serious financial implications for a business.

The commercial cost of accidental managers within a business is substantial. Recognising the signs of accidental management and investing in leadership development are essential to mitigating these costs. By spending a little now, you save a lot in the future. Employee engagement, productivity and innovation dictates a business’ success.

If you are conscious of accidental managers within your business, come along to our free one-hour seminar on Tuesday 27th February via Zoom where we will discuss the solutions for identifying and overcoming the accidental manager trap. Click here to book your free place.

And, if you have identified accidental managers within your business, book them on to our ‘First Time Manager’ workshop. This one-day course provides the essential leadership skills including communication and confidence to all accidental managers. Click here to find out more.

Read 504 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 February 2024 16:51

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